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Batshuayi’s stock dropping fast at Valencia; Chelsea recall looming?

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Far from a smooth flight

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Of the four first-team strikers on Chelsea’s books at the start of preseason, few would’ve predicted Michy Batshuayi to struggle the most. But with just 2 goals in 15 apperances to his name, only Olivier Giroud has fewer (1 in 12), and it’s generally accepted that Giroud contributes greatly in other ways to the smooth flow of the Chelsea attack. Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata has rediscovered his scoring boots (6 in 16) and Tammy Abraham has unsurprisingly done alright in the Championship (4 in 10).

Coming off of a half-season where he lit up the Bundesliga (9 in 14 for BVB) after maintaining a solid strike-rate for Chelsea despite not getting many starts (19 in 53), it’s safe to say that things have not gone according to plan for the Batsman at the Bats. It was supposed to be the ideal destination!

Batshuayi’s stock at the club is dropping quite fast. After playing at least a few minutes in every match, he was an unused substitute in the 3-1 win over Swiss club Young Boys in the Champions League last Wednesday, and he was not even selected for the matchday squad in the 1-0 away win at Getafe over the the weekend.

Santi Mina (4 in 9) got the start alongside Rodrigo (1 in 15), with Kevin Gameiro (1 in 17) making a substitute appearance. While Mina is the only striker to have a decent amount of goals for struggling and extremely goal-shy Valencia, Batshuayi appears to be below all of them in the pecking order now.

“Every player has to have the objective of playing better. If Mina is playing now, it is because we are trying to be fair. We consider his output better than his counterpart’s [Batshuayi].”

-Marcelino; source: El Mundo

And the situation might be more serious than just bad form. According to Marca, Valencia are seeking ways to return Batshuayi to Chelsea before the end of the season. Their initial plan apparently was to give Bats 26 games to prove his worth. But given the early results, that plan seems to have been scrapped.

Problem is, at least according to the report, that apparently Batshuayi’s loan deal does not have a recall clause. (It does have a €50m buy-option, which was also something only reported in Spain — but that’s a long-shot at this point, to say the least.)

That said, surely Chelsea and Valencia could come to agreement to terminate Bats’ loan contract early, even if there is no clause built-in. This should not be a hurdle to any sort of recall, especially as it would benefit all parties involved (if he continues to not play).